Friday, August 28, 2015

5 Day Update

What's up my friends and family? 
I wrote you five days ago so here is another update on the happenings here in Constanta Romania.
We had an awesome recent convert lesson with our buddy Liviu. We asked him how he felt about the Book of Mormon. He looked up and said it has become the most important book in my life. It was the coolest feeling! Liviu has progressed in this gospel so quickly, he just gets it and it has been such a blessing do be apart of it. Then he blessed the sacrament on Sunday! It was so cute, I almost cried. Afterwards I was like Congrats! He just smiled and said I no idea what I was doing but I did it and it felt great! The priesthood is a very powerful thing and I invite all who have it to SEARCH for opportunities to use it.
On Wednesday night we headed out to Costenesti a beach side town outside of Constanta to visit with some friends of the Assistant's to the President. They called us on Sunday and asked us to just go visit with this couple that they had met through English class. We headed out there at 7am on a bus. We had an AWESOME conversation about the gospel. They have such a desire for the truth, it was cool. This couple wants to start a fitness program. They have so much drive and passion for what they do. We talked a lot about how the gospel should play a part in every single aspect of our lives. It should be more than just a thing we think about on Sundays so that was really cool. Then we start making our way back to Constanta and we go wait for the bus that had taken us out there. Little did we know that the bus had gotten stuck in traffic and so by the time it finally reached us at 9:30 pm it had finished it's work day so it wasn't picking people up anymore. So there we were stuck about 30 minutes outside of Constanta when we are supposed to be home already. I was going through options of how to get home in my mind, my thought process went a little bit like this. "Well we could hitchhike, no Sora ivory would kill us if she found out we hitchhiked, we could call a taxi no we do not have enough money for that, we could just stay here for the night, wow I am the worst trainer ever, President is so going to fire me when he hears about this." Meanwhile Sora Armstrong the trainee realizes that there is a train that runs through the town we are in and she says we could just take the train so we start going to buy are tickets, the train pulls up as we start buying our tickets so I am just like come on come on we gotta go! We grab our tickets and sprint onto the train. We make come to find out the train is SO SLOW and it takes us like 45 minutes to get home. BUT either President still doesn't know or he thinks I am an okay trainer because I get another whole transfer with Sora Armstrong and I am so excited about it!!!
The gospel is true, our Father in Heaven loves so much!! He hears our prayers no matter where we are or what we have done.
I love you all!!
Sora Armstrong

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Botez, Mountains, and the Book of Mormon

To whom it may concern (WHICH SHOULD BE ALL OF YOU), 
I am literally in THE BEST, MOST POSITIVE MISSION ON THE PLANET. This week has been jam packed I am not even sure where to start. Thank you to all who sent me the birthday wishes. I would love to reply but I have 0 time BUT I love you all thank you so much for the thoughts! 
Okay I will start with the BOTEZ!!! Liviu got BAPTIZED!!!!! He is so AWESOME! But wow is it a story. 
So.....Liviu decided to get baptized at 10 o'clock in the morning. Because it is so hot these days, he thought would be best. We were so excited for him that the logistic side of our brains did not kick in so we were just like yeah of course perfect. Then we are walking home from the lesson and I am like "wait a second, it takes 5 hours to fill up the font and we have to do it the day of or else the water will be freezing." So after some convincing on Sora Armstrong's part (I had to convince her,) we decided to sleep at the church the night before the baptism so we could start the water at 3:30 in the morning. Saturday, we wake up at BEFORE the crack of dawn to start the water. The way we fill up the font here is through a hose connected to the kitchen sinks that runs into the big plastic tub in the next room. So I wake up turn on the water and fall back onto the couch and then I hear this flush of water and the hose as shot OFF of the sink!!! Sora Armstrong and I spent the next HOUR scotch taping the hose onto the sink because the connecting piece had BROKEN!!! Then we finally fall back to sleep around 5:306:30 rolls around, we pray, then I look into the font and there is like no water in there, so I walk into the kitchen and as soon as I set foot into the room my foot is SUBMERGED in water. I was like "uh oh" and Sora Armstrong comes running in. Turns out our scotch taping job was not as pro as planned so there was a major leak and resulted in a kiddie pool in the church kitchen. We fixed the leak, mopped up most of the water, and then the Elders brought us some pancakes. Then we had a BAPTISM. It was BEAUTIFUL. Liviu just BEAMED the entire time. He thought the baptism suit was hilarious and just busted up laughing when we showed it to him. Baptisms always have an awesome spirit about them but I think the baptism is different depending on the person. The gospel for Liviu is just such a happy thing. It is something that gave him the hope and change of perspective that he needed as he came out of a very tough challenge in his life. It has helped him heal and after he got baptized he said he just felt ready to start life again. Everyone was smiling. The second counselor in the branch president gave the welcome and he said something so beautiful. He looked at Liviu and said, Brother we are small but we are strong. Liviu just smiled. After, Liviu got up and bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Christ. It was so simple but so SOLID. Not really sure how to put the feeling into words but wow it was an INCREDIBLE day.
The day after Liviu received the holy ghost, the priesthood and a calling as a Sunday School teacher. He was a little dazed but still smiling. He was walking around with all these books and I was like "Liviu, it's my birthday! Why do you get all the gifts!" He said "It's my weekend. I got reborn yesterday." hahaha I let him have it. 
I am so BLESSED!!! I had the best birthday ever. The branch all kissed me and wished many birthdays upon me and blessed me to have beautiful children and a strong husband and great old age. I was like guys I'm only 20, I got awhile but they just kept giving me blessings which is a Romanian thing. Back to the point. THE LORD IS PREPARING PEOPLE. EVERYWHERE!!!! Go find them! Let me reiterate MISSIONARY WORK DOES NOT WORK WITHOUT THE MEMBERS!!! Get busy!
Monday, we took our favorite 5:30am train to Buceresti. We made with 20 minutes to spare I will have you know. Then we headed up to climb mountains with EVERY SINGLE MISSIONARY IN ROMANIA AND MOLDOVA. It was amazing! We got there and it was pouring rain and President was like "Let's go!" So we hiked to this amazing waterfall and was so beautiful and so much fun. That night, we had this delicious dinner in A CASTLE. It was so much fun to be with everyone. This mission is changing. We are obedient, we are striving everyday to find the one, we are committed to building the Church here in Romania and you could feel the power as we were all gathered together. There are also just so many awesome people in this mission. I got to talk to my home girls Sora Allen and Sora Marchesci who are going home soon but who are two AMAZING missionaries. I am so blessed to be making the friends I have made here.
Then we had an all mission conference. It was all about the BOOK OF MORMON. President Ivory's sister was there with her husband who is a surgeon. He and President Ivory both bore powerful testimonies of the Book of Mormon. It was thinking how cool is this gospel? Here are two incredibly intelligent men, President attended Harvard Business College.....and where is the first source they turn to for guidance and direction in their lives? The Book of Mormon. A book that some people argue was made up by a 24 year old unlearned school boy. Would a man that graduated from Harvard and now runs a very successful company turn to a book like that for guidance? NO The Book of Mormon is the word of God. It was written by prophets for our day. In it we can learn how to be a better parent, friend, teacher, sales guy, co-worker, brother, sister, spouse whatever we can learn to BE BETTER. So guess what my peeps I have a challenge for you. READ IT!!!!! The Romania Moldova Mission is starting to read it from front to cover tomorrow. Read it with us! We will finish it in 84 days. When a people unite in something this good MIRACLES WILL HAPPEN. Romania needs miracles, Temecula needs miracles, WE ALL NEED MIRACLES. 
My friends and family I love you, I pray for you, I promise you that there is no truer book on this planet than the Book of Mormon and you will find no greater joy than the joy you can find in the Book of Mormon. 
Over and out 
Sora Armstrong

                   when you wake up expecting the font to be full but instead the kitchen is

                                                           Flexin' by the waterfall

                                                     Brittany in Count Dracula's Castle
Brittany in Brasov with Sora Armstrong, Sora Green, and Sora Trebas

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Summer on Mamaia

This week has been nuts! On Wednesday, our carbon monoxide detector went off so we had to have some sleep overs with the other soras which was fun, but annoying because we weren't in our own apartment. We had a guy come and check things out and it is all good so we are back into our lovely apartment. 
On Thursday, we headed out Eforie to visit our good friend Alesea. She saw that I had a bunch of dry skin on my face and so she said two seconds then comes back with these two big water jugs of lake water. She told me to wash my face with salty lake water every night and my face would clear up. I have been doing it diligently and it actually has been working. I love it to because I just dunk my head in a bowl of it and I pretend like I am swimming at good ol' Del Mar Beach and it is great. Sora Armstrong always laughs at me but I think it's great. Alesea is doing great we had a lesson with her about the Iron Rod and we asked her how could we keep holding onto the iron rod and she said that prayer and then she said "in fact this is the Iron Rod" and held up the Book of Mormon. I was like yeah it is. She is just so cool because she just gets the Gospel. I love it!
Another miracle we saw this week was just people being so open. We got two numbers from people that were sincerely interested in the Gospel. They were both men, so we gave them to the Elders but one of them to church yesterday and had a lesson with the Elders afterwards. I promise we are trying to find women to teach too. We have also not taught anymore men in speedos so that's good. My testimony of finding through those that we teach has really grown this week. After one of our lessons this week, we walked out of the bloc and our investigator friend grabbed their friends just outside the bloc and said "you have to talk to these two." We had a great conversation and the Elders will be meeting with him too.
Amazing things are happening here, Fratele Ciurdea tried to come to church but got stuck in three hours of traffic but he tried! Alexandru and Mercy bore incredible testimonies yesterday, and Fratele Vitel who the Elders and other Soras have been working with. The spirit was strong.
We also went contacting at the Color Run on Friday. It was so cool! It also just about killed me not being able to join in the run. I didn't realize how much I missed that feeling of running a race, but then we started contacting and talking to people and that feeling went away. We got color thrown all over us and as we walked down the boardwalk people LOVED US it was hilarious. Never have I ever gotten that many cards out in such a short period of time. It was super fun just to talk people. I LOVE being a missionary, everyday we head out and we just say "okay what new friends are we going to make today?"
I love this mission especially because the Church is so new here. We, as missionaries, need to find new ways to get the word out of the Gospel and so we get to try out new things.
Oamenii mei time is super short but I love you and I love this gospel. Heavenly Father has truly been pouring out his blessings upon us. Often I don't feel worthy of everything he has given me, but that just means I gotta work that much harder to be worthy.
I love you all sorry for the brevity......have an awesome week!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Asculta-ma oameni
Another week of miracles here in Constanta! We finally got a baptismal date for Alesea! It is in about a month but that is good because she will have time to prepare herself and to strengthen her testimony. We are striving to keep the spirit strong in each of our lessons. Alesea's testimony of the Book of Mormon has really grown she has such a thirst for knowledge and Fratele Ciurdea told us that whenever she is not busy she sits and she reads. She is very aware of the spirit that she feels when she reads it. I love how each person we teach develops such a unique testimony about certain aspects of the gospel. One thing the Lord continues to teach me is that He has his own time for everything. Alesea is so much more prepared now than she was when we first started talking.
Another miracle this week was Liviu. He is a friend of Sora Ghiman's who is going through some really tough family stuff. She being the incredible member missionary that she is invited him to our Pioneer day activity and we invited him to church, he came we had a lesson afterwards with Sora Ghiman she gave him every single pamphlet to read. We met with him yesterday with Gabi Petcu who is another incredible member missionary and Liviu had read every single pamphlet! We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and invited him to be baptized. He said he knows it is a serious decision and he wants to make the right one and that he feels really good with us. I am so excited for him! He is a builder there is no doubt about that. He is just one of those guys that loves everyone and we can just feel it.
Another miracle of the week was the fact that we MADE OUR TRAIN. We had a train that left for Bucharest at 530 in the morning so we set three different alarms to get up at 4 then the elders call at 5 to let us know that they are on their way to the Gara (train station) I answer the phone out of my sleep and I am like "yeah we will be there in 5" then I just start yelling GET UP!!! Sora Armstrong like flipped out off her bed, I busted into Sora Trebas and green's room turn on the lights I am pretty sure Sora Green fell off her bed too and I'm just it's 5 we gotta go NOW!!! So we call a taxi and as we are getting in I tell him you have 10 minutes to get us to the Gara I thought I was in fast and the furious but WE MADE IT!!! Considering the fact that last we woke up at 4am and still missed our train I think we are just going to make this 5 o'clock thing the norm now.
We headed down to Bucharest for Zone Conference and it WAS SO GREAT! The Ridds came and spoke to us. He was just released from the Young Men's general presidency NBD. Wow they are a cool couple. He talked all about finding, teaching, and baptizing. He encouraged us to be bold and told us a story about when he and his companion walked into a church on his mission and told them that were messengers from God sent to teach them about his Gospel. I imagined me and Sora Armstrong walking into one of the giant orthodox churches and saying that, so if you don't get an email from us next week we might be in jail for disturbing the peace or something. I am joking... kind of. He also talked about Real Intent, about being where you are when you are there. I LOVE that. I have really been working on that lately and it has made a huge difference. When we decide to be 100% present in the situation we are in, our ability to communicate with the spirit is so much stronger, we are able to feel so much more love for the people we are interacting with and we are happier. 
That is the most simple part of the gospel I think: When we apply it's principals we are happier. My friends, family, homies strive to apply the principles of the gospel in your life. Be kind, look to serve, study your scriptures and you will be HAPPIER. That is my simple testimony of the week.I love you guys so much, I am so blessed to have so many amazing people in my life. Whether it is the friends I have made here in Romania or those back at home that loved me for me you all mean so much. I love hearing from you and if you take the time to read this you are one of the true homies!! 
Va Iubesc!
Sora Armstrong the Elder
                                         Brittany, Soras, and friends reenacting Abbey Road

                                         Brittany made the MissionPics Instagram page

Here is a beautiful view from Constanta, Romania

Randall Ridd & his wife visited Bucharest!!! Brother Ridd
served in the General Young Men's Presidency

Brittany with other Trainers & Trainees in Bucharest, Romania